Gablami's Reefer 525 Build

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Gablami, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Day 19

    I guess I have lots to update; been slacking a bit. Last weekend I picked up my future quarantine tank: a 29g Biocube. Along with the heater, light and pump, also came with a bunch of frags piled amidst some live rock. I basically did as planned, siphoned out and saved most of the water. Placed the corals in tupperware, live rock in buckets. I dumped out the sand. Drove it 20 minutes. Set it back up in the garage and topped off with my new salt water. Went smoothly and much easier than I thought. Once my main tank is ready I'll move out some of the frags and have it ready to go as my quarantine tank -- bare bottom, sparse, and lonely.


    Last weekend also used some cabinet hinges to reorganize the electronics shelf. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.


    And the big news, is on Day 19, have some diatoms growing! Happened literally within hours. There was nothing this morning, and tonight I come home and it's all over the glass and sand. BTW, I have been running my lights as normal during the cycle. My ammonia is now 0, my nitrites are 1.25, and my nitrates at at 75 (whoa!). I wasn't going to do my big water change until my nitrites came down to 0, but I think it'll get there soon...maybe even this weekend. I just basically let the diatom bloom happen, right? Let it take over the tank and trust that it will go away? Or should I try introducing a new batch of snails? Maybe they'll live now.

    Here's a small bit of proof:

    Lastly, my baffle kit arrived for my fuge. It's a pretty tight fit. Comes with two acrylic spaces, "long" and "small". The long one was too big to fit my skimmer. So used the short piece, screwed in at the far left of the photo.


    And I setup my fuge light, an H380, one of Kessil's hydroponic purple lights. It's probably total overkill, but I'm hoping it'll grow mad cheato. I know I could of gone with a $10 Home Depot light and probably been fine, but I'm not planning on having a GFO reactor or anything, so I'm counting on my fuge to be a good export system.


    So that's the update. I'm hoping this weekend I can do a big water change, introduce some snails, pickup some frags and starter cheato from Enderturtle, and maybe even move a couple coral into the DT (after Bayer and coral rx dip). Not planning on introducing any fish for a long long time. I'm eager to know your thoughts, if there's anything I should be doing, or not doing. Anything to save me from future pain. Thanks as always!

    Oh, and I added about 10 more lbs of sand. Now it's about 1.5 inches.

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
    Kmooresf and Ashalye like this.
  2. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    There's no reason not to add the fish even before the coral. There was an article on reefbreeders a while back saying that the corals benefited from the extra nutrients from uneaten food and fish poop in particular.
  3. Yippee

    Yippee Supporting Member

    Tape or replace your return hose so the light will not grow algae in the hose impeding flow. I am not sure why they don't design more sumps that keep light out of other sections. Growing algae where you may not want it means more work.
    RandyC likes this.
  4. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Cool! Looks like you're moving along. I'd suggest killing the lights during your cycle. There's no need for it since you have no livestock and there's a chance you'll just grow some unwanted algae in your display tank.

    I'd let the diatom bloom just come and go. I personally would not add snails yet. High nitrites are not good for fish, inverts or coral.

    Agree with yippee. Block out light everywhere you don't want to grow algae and don't need for livestock.
  5. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Thanks guys. I just noticed the brown in the return tubing too. Strange because I haven't had any light on down there. But I'll change it to something solid. Was going to redo the plumbing anyways and put some check valves in.

    I have some black epoxy paint on the way to paint the baffle. Will try to keep the light controlled. Was hoping that eventually with a strong fuge I wouldn't have much microalgae growth.

    Ok will kill the lights for now. I thought that I wanted diatoms to grow? Like it was a good thing to happen.
  6. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Yes and no. Diatoms are going to happen eventually regardless in a new tank at some point. I think they feed off of silicates from new sand and equipment, but those eventually break down and get used up. Silicates apparently can be in tap water, but that's why we all use RO/DI water.

    I just wouldn't want to have to fight off any other algae that may grow when it could have been avoided.
  7. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Last night after my post, I sent the thread link to my sister for the first time. She had been asking how my tank was doing. Some context: my sister pretty much writes for a living, was editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and went to journalism camps in high school (yes they exist).

    Here was her response:

    "You know what's crazy? The most notable thing about this thread is how polite and supportive it is, and there are NO TYPOS. Aquarium people have good grammar, punctuation, spelling, and no rages. Impressive for any comments thread anywhere. Sounds like you've found yourself a good group, haha."
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
    Ashalye and RandyC like this.
  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Tank looks good! Love the lights!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Day 24

    More of the same. Cycle not over yet. Nitrite still not at zero. Itching for that first big water change but will continue the waiting game. Not sure using nitrifying bacteria additives hastened the cycle at all.

    My biocube is stocked waiting for my big tank to be ready for me to transfer over some frags. Big thanks to Enderturtle for many of his corals.

    (Glass is kinda dirty)

    Once big tank is ready, going to take frags, remove the plugs, dip in Bayer and revive, and the glue back onto new plugs to place in new tank (down low) and slowly acclimatize to light. Then when ready (once I par meter the tank and get the levels figured out where I want to place them), will remove from frags and fix in place.


    I saw this on one of the rocks that came with the biocube.


    Aiptasia. I removed that rock from the tank and threw it away. I only saw one more aiptasia, a small one on another rock. I tried to pull it off, but it shredded into a bunch of small pieces and disintegrated. :eek:

    So now I'm a little worried that those little pieces are going seed the entire tank and cause big problems. I really want to keep my tank pest free. Planning on doing transfer method for my fish with possible medicated water, and want to dip everything that comes in. Would be up to getting additional quarantine tanks, etc. What should I do at this point?

    1. Wash, dip, replug and transfer frags as planned, but leave anything stuck on live rock in the biocube and observe, treating with epoxy or Aiptasia X as they arise?
    2. Transfer nothing and just observe, and treat with epoxy or Aiptasia X as Aiptasia arise (for how long)?
    3. Get a peppermint shrimp for the biocube? Not sure what it will eat since there's not much else growing in the tank besides corals.
    4. Donate the corals to another reefer who doesn't care about aiptasia and sterilize the tank?
    5. Other?

    Thanks for helping this newbie out :(.
    Calde0920 likes this.
  10. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    5. Russia just announced their new nuke, may be they have rental plan? ;p
  11. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Lol, rooster. Check this out: Freakin' laser beams! Gets interesting about 7 minutes in.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  12. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Day 34

    Well, I haven't been updating much, because, well, there's not much to say. My cycle is STILL not over. Ammonia peaked at 1.25 and has been 0 since Day 19. Nitrites peaked at 2.0 at Day 16, and by Day 23 was down to 0.5, but since then nitrite has been stuck between 0.25 and 0.5. Nitrates have been going up and up and up, and seems stable at around 100. I ghost feed about 1/2 cube of mysis shrimp every 2-3 days or so. I did a small 15% water change last week because I was a little worried about the high nitrate level.

    Otherwise tank looks great. Diatoms are going away. Minimal algae growth. I've got 3 trochus snails doing great work on the glass, and 1 awesome fighting conch that is pretty much cleaning the sand all by himself. There are three nassarius snails that I haven't seen in awhile. My refugium has been running for a couple weeks, and chaeto is growing like crazy under the grow light. I added about a cup of Rox carbon into a filter bag in the sock, and the water color has cleared up. ORP has been steadily rising, now it's 330. pH 8.1.

    I know it can take 6+ weeks for a cycle, sometimes much longer. I guess I just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything that I'm missing. Just tincture of time?
  13. Joey Chen

    Joey Chen Guest

    Are you still happy with the purchase of your Reefer? I'm considering buying a 170, maybe even spring a little more for the Deluxe to get the AI Hydra and mount. Are you happy with the plastic connectors. I've seen those snap before in other peoples' experiences.
  14. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Still very happy with the purchase. Great value and function, everything well thought out and looks great. Only thing is the installed gate valve could be a bit higher quality. Never felt like I was even close to snapping the connectors. If I were to do so, I bet Red Sea could mail one out to replace it. The included ATO is small, and needs refilling every 2-3 days, but I think it was done intentionally so if the float switch malfunctioned it wouldn't overflow the sump. Will probably switch to a 10g ATO at some point.
  15. Calde0920

    Calde0920 Guest

    Kill it with fire. I'm in if you go with your last option lol
  16. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Haha, I just took the rocks out and buried the aiptasia under superglue. Found a few more too. Will just observe for additional growth. I would try the laser technique if I couldn't take out the rock in my DT.
  17. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    Have you done any water changes in your bio cube yet? You might want to start that you use the same salt mix as your new tank, just to get the corals slowly used to the mix in the new tank. Less stressful when you move thing over. In fact I would suggest maybe take like 1 gallon from the new tank to the Biocube like every week.
  18. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Thanks apon. I have been doing water changes once a week, but not with my main tank water. Maybe I'll start next week. Good tip.
  19. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Careful with the main tank water if you still have nitrites and high nitrates though. No need to cause your Biocube inhabitants unnecessary stress.

    Once the nitrites get to zero though, swapping out water with main tank is not a bad idea.
  20. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Hopefully in a week or so, my nitrites will be gone. :)

    One weird thing I just noticed. My chaeto seems to be dying. It was growing like crazy, more than doubling in size under my grow lamp past couple weeks. But a good size chunk of it has become stringy, yellow and limp. I saved about a baseball size of the best looking stuff and dumped the rest. Not sure why it would die. Got tons of nutrient and light.

    We'll see what happens with the remaining stuff.

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